Zika Cases Surge in Pune: Union Health Ministry Issues Guidelines

Pune Records 24 Patients Of Zika Virus 

Pune Records 24 Patients Of Zika Virus 

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Chetna Raja

In response to a recent spike in Zika virus infections in Pune and other parts of Maharashtra, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has initiated stringent measures and issued specialized guidelines for affected states. As of July 2nd, 2024, Maharashtra has reported a total of 8 Zika cases, with Pune alone confirming 6 cases, Kolhapur 1, and Sangamner 1.

Dr. Atul Goyal, Director General of Health Services, emphasized the critical need for ongoing vigilance and monitoring of the Zika virus situation. The guidelines underscore several key directives aimed at mitigating the spread of the virus and safeguarding public health:

Special Instructions for Pregnant Women:

States have been instructed to conduct regular screening of pregnant women for Zika virus infection. Additionally, fetal growth monitoring of Zika-infected pregnant women is mandated to assess any potential risks to newborns. 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=2030371

Health Facilities and Mosquito Control:

To prevent mosquito-borne transmission, health facilities in affected areas are required to appoint nodal officers to oversee comprehensive mosquito control measures, particularly targeting Aedes mosquitoes. Enhanced entomological surveillance in residential areas, workplaces, schools, and health facilities is also prioritized.

Public Awareness Campaigns:

The Ministry has urged states to intensify public awareness efforts through Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) messages disseminated via social media and other platforms. These campaigns aim to educate the public about preventive measures and allay fears associated with Zika virus infection.

Zika Testing Facilities:

Zika virus testing facilities are operational at key institutions including the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi, and selected Virological Research and Diagnostic Laboratories under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

About Zika Virus:

Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, similar to dengue and chikungunya. While Zika infection generally causes mild symptoms, it has been linked to severe complications such as microcephaly in infants born to infected mothers.

The Ministry’s proactive approach underscores its commitment to containing the Zika outbreak swiftly and effectively. With ongoing surveillance and stringent control measures in place, health authorities remain vigilant to protect public health from the evolving Zika virus threat.

This comprehensive strategy aims not only to curb the current outbreak but also to minimize the potential impact on vulnerable populations, particularly pregnant women and their unborn children.

For further updates and guidance, the public is advised to stay informed through official channels and adhere to precautionary measures advised by health authorities.

Source: Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India